With only eight days remaining until the official closing of the 2016 hurricane season, tonight we can report that another hurricane has formed this time in the south-western Caribbean marking it the seventh one for this season. Though it had been classified only as Tropical Storm Otto yesterday, things took a turn as the phenomenon has officially been upgraded to the status of a category one hurricane by the National Hurricane Centre.
But before Otto had developed into a full blown category one hurricane, international reports indicate that it claimed the lives of three Panamanians including a child. Further reports say that nine people were trapped in a landslide that occurred west of Panama City, however only seven of them were rescued. The child on the other hand died as a result of a tree that collapsed on top of a vehicle that was parked outside of a school.
The NHC announced that sometime around 3p.m. Otto was located approximately 240 miles east of the Caribbean province of Limon, Costa Rica and sustained winds of up to 75 miles per hour with higher gusts and is also approximately 305 miles east-southeast of Bluefield, Nicaragua. It is anticipated that Otto will continue to strengthen over the next few days as it approaches the Central American coast and will make landfall in both Costa Rica and Nicaragua on Thursday.
Forecasters also believe that Otto can bring about 6 to 12 inches of rain in these areas with isolated amounts of 15 to 20 inches and can cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides. Following the latest hurricane update, President of Costa Rica Luis Guillermo Solis has ordered the mandatory evacuation of approximately 4,000 residents living the Northern and Caribbean communities.
We understand that Columbia has also issued a tropical storm warning for San Andres Island.
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